The Sibbil Dwight Kent Chapter (Suffield and Windsor Locks) of The Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR) and the Suffield Historical Society will partner to install a Witness Stone Memorial for Titus Kent. An installation ceremony will be held in front of the Sidney Kent Legare Library (Suffield Academy) on High Street at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21. Bill Sullivan’s American Studies class at Suffield Academy will help facilitate the program, and you can email Bill Sullivan with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Titus Kent was a Black Patriot who served every year in the American Revolution. His name is commemorated on our Town’s Veterans Memorial with many other Patriots from Suffield who fought in the Revolutionary War. This public history project merges two organizations that aim to honor the humanity and commemorate the contributions of Revolutionary War Veterans. The educational initiative of the Daughters of the American Revolution is appropriately titled, E pluribus unum – which translates to “out of many, one” – and has been a motto of the United States since the earliest days of the Republic. The DAR reminds us that “in practice, the history of the country has often overlooked the participation of certain groups, including the vital contributions of people of color and women to the War of Independence and the founding of the United States.” The DAR education initiative encourages “new scholarship, create educational programming, and develop new research tools that complement work being done by other organizations, with the goal of enriching our understanding of the different people behind the effort of the colonies to win independence, and recognizing those who have been left out of the historical narrative.”
The first Witness Stone memorial was installed in Guilford in 2017, and soon after that, West Hartford, Madison, Greenwich, New Haven and Salisbury followed suit. During the last two years Witness Stone projects are currently underway in many other Connecticut towns as well as in New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts.
This project is supported by the Amiel P. Zak Public Service Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and the Friends of Suffield community group. Historians estimate the number of Black soldiers and sailors in the Revolutionary War was approximately 5,000.